Chemical sector wage talks break down

Wage negotiations in the country’s chemical sector have deadlocked over 1%, the trade union Solidarity said on Wednesday.

Unions, who wanted 8%, and employers, offering seven, had been unable to reach agreement at the National Bargaining Council for the Chemical Industry, union spokesperson Ilze Nieuwoudt said in a statement.

This could pave the way for strikes, after unions gave the requisite 48-hour notice.

“The employer’s offer stands currently at 7%. Our members will consider the final offer.”

The unions had demanded a wage hike of 8%, to commence on July this year, as well as an additional 1% increase in January 2012.

“Solidarity maintains that the increase which is currently offered will not be able to keep up with rising living costs of the employees and insist that the employers should improve their offer.”

Employers in the chemical industry include Sasol, Karbochem and Omnia.—Sapa

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